ADL: Religious groups' plan to break bread with Ahmadinejad is a 'betrayal'
Jewish group: Invite to Iranian leader tarnishes organizations' reputations as peace seekers, bridge builders.
Five American religious organizations have announced plans to host a dinner to break the Ramadan fast with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his upcoming visit to the United States.
The Mennonite Central Committee, the Quakers, the World Council of Churches, Religions for Peace and the American Friends Service Committee are sponsoring the meeting with President Ahmadinejad on September 25 in New York City.
The dinner to break the Ramadan fast, called an Iftar, is being billed as "an international dialogue between religious leaders and political figures" in a conversation "about the role of religions in tackling global challenges and building peaceful societies."
National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Abraham H. Foxman, issued a response to the announcement, calling the planned event "a perversion of the search for peace and an appalling betrayal of religious values."
"It simply defies belief that five organizations with a mission of promoting peace through dialogue would choose President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from among the hundreds of world leaders and ambassadors who will be in New York this month, as an appropriate and legitimate interlocutor on world peace," Foxman said.
Foxman continued, "In extending an invitation to Ahmadinejad, the religious organizations sponsoring this dinner have tarnished their reputations as peace seekers and bridge builders. Their breaking bread with President Ahmadinejad is a perversion of the search for peace and an appalling betrayal of religious values."
Ahmadinejad has caused international uproar with his continued denial of the Holocaust and his frequent anti-Israel tirades, in which he has called for Israel to be wiped off the map.